Men’s Step 0 – Day 1

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The part about not feeding any form of the addiction stuck out. At first, I thought it was just simply not viewing porn or other women, but quickly grew to learn it is much deeper than that.

Making the effort to make the meetings, being open and honest with those going through similar situations and to reach out to others and connect. All of that is essential in participating in the fellowship of the program.

I am committed to reaching out to my best friend and share with him all I'm going through with my addiction, as well as to keep open communications with my wife.

Some boundaries include getting off of social media completely and removing any inappropriate content on my phone of me and my wife that may be triggering and feed into my addiction.

Though I do not believe in God, I reference this by surrendering my imperfections and my faults and my addictions, all the things that make up the current me, and aim to become a better version of myself. One that doesn't feed into this addiction, one that acknowledges my faults and weaknesses and works on fixing them. By letting go of that part of myself I can begin to heal and work towards a better version of myself and have that effective recovery.

"We can't do it alone." The emphasis on a group definitely stood out to me today. I know it's so important to have a group. "Without regular participation in the fellowship, there seems to be no recovery." I know this is true, and it stands out to me today because I'm so grateful for the two groups that I do attend.

I think it's essential to participate so that we don't feel so alone. We get out of our head and abandon our addictive thinking. We must have others who can recognize our backward thinking and help us change. By participating we start to shed our old thinking.

I have a list of guys that I regularly call from my Tuesday and Saturday groups. Guys like Brigham, Troy, Sean W, Joel M, David G, Justin B, Ryan L, David LA, Stephen and Paul and others that I have yet to meet. It's good to identify a new person to call in the coming week to introduce which I sometimes have done.

There are several boundaries that I've set to help me practice "progressive victory over lust" such as not using certain apps on my phone (twitter), not using the explore feature on Instagram, not numbing out and browsing the web or apps. I have Covenant Eyes installed on all devices to help block certain material on my phone, which is great. I try to go to bed at a reasonable time.

I see the emphasis on surrender. Once we stop and turn our will over to God that's when He can start to guide us. Change our thinking.

"We stop feeding lust through the eyes, the fantasy, and the memory." I continue to fantasize about sex. I always want it to be better. I think that I missing out on what some other married people may be getting. Also, my youth was saturated with pornographic material and reading material and I formed many of my sexual thoughts back them. I know that it was all wrong, but I can't forget it entirely, so memory is a problem. Currenltly, I also can lust through seeing in many different ways, movies and shows, outside my home on the street in stores etc. Women wearing provacative clothing.
Why? That is the part I am interested in. I wonder if working the steps of the 12 step program can help me know "how" to stop "feeding lust...."

I am strengthened when I worship with others at church. We hear talks and testimonies and study the scriptures and conference talks together and we are edified and strenghten against the onslot of unchurchy things we are going to have to live through during the rest of the week. We also can call our church friends with questions and for assistance during the week.

I think that we would be benefited in the same way by being fellowshipped by our fellow sex/lust addicts who are strongly desirous of being clean again.

I have not made that commitment to contact another person yet, but I already contacted one person and he and I talked for sometime on the phone and he directed me to the SAL meeting in our town Thursday night.

First, after agonizing over my last mishap, I went to my bishop and he has me coming back in two weeks. He asked me to consider attending sex addict meetings to strengthen me against the mishap again. These were both very hard things to do, but I did them and I think they will, eventually, help me to progress towards a victory over lust.
Second, I am doing this SAL12 Step program which I hope will help me to progress towards a victory over lust.
Third, I intend to talk with my wife and to be forthright and honest with her. The last couple of times I masturbated, I went to my bishop each of these occured and was forgiven. I did not have anymore problems for years, but I did it again. So, having Susie know might help me towards a victory over lust.
I expect to understand this term better later in my recovery program.

I would guess that we must stop practicing our compulsion in all its forms, stop trying to control everything around us and let go, surrender our complusion and surrender our lives to God. This is a very difficult concept for me to fully understand since I have typically worked hard to control my life's events. But, I am desperate to change so I am willing to try to surrender and hopefully let God operate and become effective in my life.

"We participated in the fellowship." Am I doing that? I have some friends I reach out to fairly regularly. But is my circle big enough? And do I talk recovery enough?
I definitely get the benefit of growth and joy by being in contact with other brothers in recovery.
I am less invested in my new group. I mean, I like it. But I don't really talk with any of the members outside of group.
I am grateful for weekly meetings though.
Get rid of lust triggers! So I got rid of tiktok for 3 months but recently redownloaded it. I got rid of it because it had too many triggers and led to me acting out more than once. I also need to be careful of which tv shows I watch on netflix/prime.
I want to relearn how to stop and not start again.

Obviously regular attendance. I'm usually pretty good about that. But I think involvement too. Be present during the meetings. Make friends and connections.

I actually don't have a sponsor. So I need to pay attention during the meeting tomorrow to see if there's someone who says they can do it. If not, I'll probably need to try another group.
I talk to Stephen daily and I really love that. I usually talk with Joel weekly. And I keep up with Harrison and Parker.

I have not printed anything.
Zero dating app use.
Zero twitter.
Zero Reddit.
Currently no tiktok.

I don't know.
By saying, "God, I want to give this up to you," we stop the acting out behavior and allow God's power to enter us.

How important it is to be part of a fellowship and to be someplace where you are truly accepted for who you are

You need somewhere where you can be completely honest and not feel judged where you can expose your lies and your character defects

Friends from
Sal

No incognito mode
No sexual theme movies /R
No internet YouTube past 10 -7 am alone.
2 meetings per week
10 hr eating window

Sobriety is essential but not the goal.
In order to experience recovery we need to surrender our faults to God. Then the grace of God helps us beyond sobriety to become true desocúpela of Christ.

I can’t be sober without others. I try to rationalize this away because I don’t like to meet at first.

To get out of myself; to see others doing the same; to cut down what is in my head

Other brothers in recovery…I have a prob 3 others I feel comfortable calling

Bottom lines: no internet alone; no incognito mode; no phone by the bed; no devices; no social media; no hidden screens

Very hard for me: don’t use, ask for help, go to meetings = steps of faith enabling God to help me as I am powerless without him

I think the part about stopping everything. The addiction mentality is to get away with as much as possible. The recovery mentality is the opposite.

It's essential because when you have a group of people going through the same thing as you it makes it easier to open up and be honest. Honesty is necessary in beating this addiction.

People with a year or more of sobriety everyday and my sponsees.

Accountability software. Restrictive mode for youtube, premium youtube for no ads. We check anything over PG before watching. I don't aimlessly scroll.

We stop trying to control. We surrender to God and He can become effective when we surrender to Him instead of trying to remain in control.

I have way more going on in my mind then last. My selfishness, money issues, Beyral trauma to wife. Need to be around others

Getind processing right

No one yet

None

Have alot more to workon then last temptation

On 3/9/22 i wrote:
P64: “we get rid of all the materials and other triggers under our control”. Yep, that was the point I was making in the last SAL meeting.
P65 great quote: “The program doesn’t tell us how to stop -- … it shows us how to keep from starting again”

I need to be comfortable with talking about my feelings and be prepared to call someone if I am triggered or struggling, or even just sharing my weaknesses and defects. Participating in the fellowship helps me practice this sharing, and also learn from others.

Two check ins a week with my wife

In progress 7/4/2022:

Negative Emotions
• If someone hurts me or I feel anger, I will immediately pray for them rather than getting resentful.
• If I feel overworked and stressed, I won’t accept tasks that aren’t strictly required and that won’t make me feel better.
Lust
• If I am alone, I won’t consume unvetted input (whether Internet, TV, or other). Unvetted means where I or someone else have not previously determined it to be safe from things that may trigger me.
• If I am accidentally exposed to pornography, I will remove myself from the situation, call a contact and talk to wife within 24 hours.
• If I feel aroused while touching wife (if she asks for a backrub, for instance), I will tell her. If she then feels unsafe, I will leave the room.

We knew how to stop, we just didn't know how to not start again, and that's the part that God helps us with.

The parts about fellowship and participation in the group is necessary for recovery and getting inside my head and connecting with others. I think this sticks out the most because I believe in the sentiment that connection is the opposite of addiction. So much of my defects stem from being in my head way too much.

Because I believe in being engaged in a good cause helps change attitude and thus behavior. And because being amongst others who share a common addiction and common goal to recovery help light and keep the desire of recovery alive. It makes sense as it's easier to open up to someone who understands than a person who might misunderstand and hold judgment be hurt or hate you for your addiction.

I have a recovery goal to reach out to someone in SA or SAL each day.

No computer past 10p (exception be for journaling)
I use KSL and Deseret News only for my news
Listen to Recovery / Self-Improvement podcasts
I can Google scores but not other sports news websites
I surrender triggers to my God and talk them through with a sponsor or other group members
Walk away from triggering situations, plan to avoid triggers even if it means driving or walking another way
Dont' medicate on Nyquil when sick
I only watch TV, movies, sports with others. I don't do it alone and take breaks at commercials. I don't watch TV to cure boredom.
I don't take (or use) my cell phone with me to the bathroom.

I believe it means in making the decision that God will be the source of connection in our lives and that I replace that connection with God. I now will be turning to Him every time, all the time, instead of my compulsion/addiction.

The importance of being involved going to my meetings will help me get out of my own head

It’s really good to get to know other men who struggle same thing that I do. So I need to go to the meetings and become part of the fellowship

I have three sponsees But I will reach out to every week besides my sponsor

My goal is to not look at other women and have fantasies and lust. But if I fall short I’m not going to beat myself up because it is just a continuous victory over lust

I can’t live my life like I used to and repent and say I’m sorry after every time I acted out. I have to make a full commitment to my Savior that will allow him to be in charge of my life

My need for a commitment to group.

Because it helps me to connect with and be accountable to other men who understand me.

Joel and Spencer.

Surrender when experiencing lust. Reach out when feeling like isolating.

Stop what I’m doing and surrender to what God would have me do.

My commitment to attending group reflects my commitment to recovery. That is where I am able to start opening up and learning from others. I am just pretending when I go at it alone. It talks about phone meetings as well. That is something I do with Joel and Spencer each morning.

It helps me to maintain a recovery mindset, be accountable, learn what others are doing and be honest about where I’m at.

I reach out to my brothers, Joel and Spencer, who are also addicts.

If I’m starting to feel the desire to act out, then I think about what my body is needing, using the acronym SHALT and express that to another person. If I feel lust after anything, I express this to God, surrender it to him and another individual and write it down. If I start to want to isolate or hide, I reach instead for connection.

Stop doing what I’m doing and surrender to what God would have me do.

That there's no lasting sobriety without connecting to a group others in recovery.
"There can be no true recovery from addiction if we allow it to persist in any area, whether in our thinking or in our acting out."

This is the only reliable way to stay in recovery and reap the benefits of sobriety.

I don't have a sponsor yet. I commit to reach out to my brothers in the Ben Smith group.

1. Total Honesty and Integrity
2. Daily Check-in
3. Electronic Rules
4. Daily acknowledgement space.

I stop lusting in all its forms now. In stopping the power of surrendering to God becomes effective in me.

I must work with the group.

for accountability and support.

Adam
Adam
Justin
Doug

• No Lying
• No viewing pornography (or pornography ‘substitutes’)
• No masturbation
• No electronics in the bathroom
• No electronics in bed or on the bedside table
• No electronics between 10PM – 5:30AM
• No sexually charged movies or TV shows
• 3-second rule

we must act. then trust God to put the power behind the action.

not only participating in group is necessary, but the involvement of the day-to-day with the group. We stop, and let the power of God keep us 'stoped' as we do our stuff.

Help keep centered. Keep our eyes open. To keep us honest.

Aaron
Doug
Aaron II
Justin

• No Lying
• No viewing pornography (or pornography ‘substitutes’)
• No masturbation
• No electronics in the bathroom
• No electronics in bed or on bedside table
• No electronics between 10PM – 5:30AM
• No sexually charged movies or TV shows
• 3-second rule

We must use our agency and choose. God, through the Atonement, will give the power.

I liked the section on page 65 that said 'What we are really saying when we start meeting with others is, "I have to stop; please help me." That's so true. We can't do it alone. We need the connection and the ability to relate to others that are going through the same thing. Once together, we can find ways to help each other. I know that I truly need help from others every day.

It's important to participate because it shows more unity with others. Participating in the fellowship of the program means that you consider yourself just like everyone else in the group, and that you need their help. This fosters a community of growth and connection.

I should follow up with Kenny, Harrison, David, Alan and other folks.

I need better boundaries around my relationship with my phone. I don't want to cruise Instagram or Twitter late at night. If I'm ever triggered while using my phone, I need to call someone immediately and surrender that.

I also have boundaries to immediately mute/hide/close content that pops up in my life. I can't let lust in ever. So whether it's a post, ad, etc. I need to look away and not think of it. Call someone if needed.

First, sobriety. Then, when we're unable to maintain that sobriety and in our weakness, we reach out to God and surrender all we lack. With this daily surrender, we can remain sober daily. One day at a time.

why i haven't been able to stop myself from acting out after i've committed not to. i need support, accountability, a brotherhood.
also stopping doesn't apply only to viewing pornography. but sex with self. need to stop all acting out behaviors.
why? I'm been fooling myself into thinking porn is the issue not "all acting out behaviors"

my shame diminishes as i see i am not alone. also i draw strength from others who have been where i am and are now where i want to be. courage to open up and be honest and be accepted for my flaws not rejected.

my therapist, my wife, my brother, Randy

i haven't done any yet

I think it means God respects our freedom to choose. God will not force us to do anything or Stop. However when willing make the decision to Stop. God will step in and support us. by stopping are start to create room in our lives for God. space that wasn't there before because my addiction filled that space.

The part about sources of lust, because I wonder if I’ve gotten rid of all of mine

I can’t isolate and ignore mh feelings any more—I need to be with others and share mh feelings with then

Guys with a year or more of sobriety each day, and other guys from mh meetings

I haven’t written down or really even set any boundaries—I would like to do that.

First I have to surrender—I think this means giving up my right to lust, in general and in this particular moment in this particular way, to put down the option to do it and back away from it.

I need to surrender lust in all forms. Masturbating thinking of a white wall is still a drug.

To be able to surrender your feelings.

Other members of my SAA, SA and SAL groups.

Leaving phone outside bedroom and bathroom. Keeping office door open, reporting slips within 12 hours to wife and sponsor.

After we stop and surrendered, God helps us keep our focus on our recovery and the strength to maintain our sobriety.

The first part that I have underlined and stuck out to me again, was the commitment to stop feeding lust. I have a tool of surrender to use when I am tempted to lust to cope with emotions. But sometimes I just allow myself a "little" lust. or just for a quick minute. This mindset is wrong and it allows me to put the poison of lust into my mind and body. The other part that stuck out to me was the idea of stopping in all areas. I can't stop lusting if I'm going to allow myself to hold onto resentment.

It helps to keep me humble and honest. It helps to show me what can be achieved. Participating in a group/fellowship is how I bring myself to see what God can do with others just like me.

I text an accountability partner each day. He is another member in group that has more sobriety then I do and helps me to see patterns and sometimes points out the good work I've done.

I need to think more about this.

I can say I'm never going to do it again but the truth is I always go back to it. However, I have found that I can't control this, God can help me surrender the power it has over me and then I have more power to chose.

The need to be engaged in the fellowship. I am generally not very excited about committing to be in a group of any nature, yet alone of this nature. I need to surrender my reluctance to fully accept that I need to be engaged in this fellowship.

It provides me with three things I cannot get anywhere else. 1) It humbles me. I am a human being with similar characteristics and foibles to those in the fellowship. 2) The fellowship is a support network for me to tap into if I need a listening ear, a reminder of my commitment to the program and/or a helping hand.

I don't have a sponsor yet. My commitment is to work towards getting a temporary sponsor in place over the course of the next two weeks.

I will work with Josh to put blockers on my phone so that I cannot access the websites that I used.

Sobriety is table stakes for being on the recovery pathway. In order to invite God into our recovery process we need to surrender to Him those things that we are not able to handle on our own. Surrendering is the most important tool I have learned to tap into during this, my current, recovery path. In the past, I tried to overcome my addiction on my own. Now I recognize that I am not able to progress without God as a partner.

The main thing that stuck out to me was the mention about the "loner". Because of the area where I live, I don't have an active group that I can attend and I have had to rely on zoom and phone meetings as my only real opportunity to regularly get to a meeting. I have used this as an excuse a lot of the time to ignore the promises I have made to get to a meeting once a week and criticize the quality of any of these meetings. Its a lot easier to zone out or "phone it in" in a phone meeting. I've tried my best to work past this and treat a phone/zoom meeting as if I was sitting shoulder to shoulder to these people and know that they need this as much as I do and I should act like it. I didn't get into addiction by some complete absence of my attention and active participation, and I don't expect to get out of it and recover without action either.

Because it brings to light all the ways I have been feeling isolated that I never would have admitted or known if I didn't encounter others who experienced and fought through the same things that I had been for years.

My friend Miles I have been doing accountability partnership with. I also call a couple of guys I have meet recently in my current zoom meeting.

One boundary I need to keep in place in my recovery is the way I behave at work. I have often told myself it is up to me to recall who I am when I walk in the door and if I choose to not bring my values and to surrender when I need to, no one else is going to do it for me. If I choose to let my guard down and take on hits of lust or be lacking in caution with what I look at or how I access technology then I will be opening myself up to slips and relapses that I was able to prevent.

To me it recalls what I believe about grace in my life. I know that God's grace is constantly available to me, but only if I am open and ask Him for it. He cannot force it upon me or pull me away from my sin. He can do all things, but he wants me to turn towards Him and offer my suffering and my struggles and sin up to Him. Only then am I free and He pours out grace without limit.

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I have to get out of my own way and not try to take control. I pray daily for help and then I go about my day as if I were in charge. That approach never ends well. I like the saying "Let go and let God" However, I rarely truly let go. My mind tends to easily wander, my thoughts turn to fantasy. I need to constantly feed my soul with spiritual food and shun that which is not uplifting. I need to nurture my sobriety in order to maintain my sobriety. If i am not bearing fruit then I am withering. I am either advancing or slipping backwards. I need to stop the nonsense and SURRENDER. God will then take over. I need to practice this minute by minute.

Several, but this one first:
"There is an unwritten step underlying all twelve. Call it Step Zero. "We participated in the fellowship of the program." No one seems able to stay sober and progress in recovery without it..."
It struck me because I've always been so independent, self-sufficient, etc.

Because those who have gone before have found that no one is able to stay sober without it. Connection with others seems to be vital, and I have always been quite isolated, introverted, and disconnected.

I made the goal this week to make at least one phone call to someone on the phone list. My first SAL meeting was only day before yesterday so I don't have a sponsor yet.

No self-gratification even if it's just the physical act with no thoughts involved.
No arousing images of women; online, paper, or however.
When I encounter inappropriate things that I have not intentionally sought, I choose to quickly turn away, whatever that entails.

That I stop, and then trust God to guide me and help me stay stopped. Rather than praying again that he would take it from me finally. Also that it's not enough to be stopped from the behaviors; I then work with God to continue to get better at recognizing and not practicing lust in any of its forms.